Words: Malcolm Arcand

Photos: Robert Renaud

Axis hosted its eighth annual Axis Slopestyle last weekend at Avila, Quebec where among the long list of talented riders were some of Quebec's hottest up-and-comers. The day started off early with practice and qualifications and later that night, finals. As always, Avila’s park crew did great job fine tuning the course.

Due to a spout of bad weather though, the organizers were forced to close down the second of three jumps in order to ensure the safety of the athletes' knees. Despite unfavourable conditions, the riders still managed to put on quite a show for the crowd that had formed on the side of the money booter at the bottom.

Once it came time for finals, the conditions started to look a little better, as the wind had died down and the course was a little faster. Although the riders still had to book it for the last jump, almost every one of them had enough speed.

I can’t even begin to imagine the arguments that were going on in the judges booth because all the skiers absolutely slayed it. In the end though, Sébastien Chartrand took first place and with it a prize of $2000. His run consisted of a disaster 270 in to the down-flat-down, 2 in pretzel 2 out of the down rail, a cork 10 on the first jump and finishing it off with a 9 mute on the last jump which was turned in to a 12 on his second run. Realizing they had to step it up, more riders began throwing 12's on the last hit.

In second place was Paul Bergeron. B-Paul earned his spot on the podium by going huge on the jumps and by tackling the whole down-flat-down tube rail instead of disastering it like most competitors. A risky move on his part as it was a difficult feature to land tricks consistently on.

Alex Bellemare, who qualified in first, ended up in third only one point behind B-Paul. And unfortunately there was only space on the podium for three awesome skiers. Other highlights include Benoit Gendron's cork 9 double tail, a kangaroo flip by Alex Beaulieu, and Alex Dufour stomping a crowd-pleasing double back flip. Overall it was an amazing competition to watch with tons of banger tricks to attempt to emulate. Big ups to all the riders and to Axis for putting on such a cool contest.

Results

1) Sébastien Chartrand

2) Paul Bergeron

3) Alex Bellemare

4) Vincent Gagnier

5) Alex Beaulieu

6) Hugo Pelletier

7) Séb Eaves

8) Martin Boulais

9) Alexandre Dufour

10) Benoit Gendron

11) Jean-Philippe Beaulieu

12) Gabriel Boudreau

13) Mike Ness


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